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    Denver Nuggets Franchise Information

    Have a read on below at some quick stats and facts on the Denver Nuggets to get you started: 

    Stadium:Pepsi Center
    Colours:Midnight blue, sunshine yellow, flatirons red & skyline blue
    Hall of Famers:Dan Issel, David Thompson, Alex English, Sarunas Marciulionis, Spencer Haywood, Dikembe Mutombo, Allen Iverson, George McGinnis, Charlie Scott & Bobby Jones
    Hall of Fame Coaches:Alex Hannum, Larry Brown & John McLendon
    Rivals:Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder & Utah Jazz
    Legends:Alex English, Dikembe Mutombo, Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups & Allen Iverson
    Retired Numbers:2, 12, 33, 40, 44, 55 & 432
    Conference: Western Conference
    Division:Northwest Division
    NBA Championships:None

    Denver Nuggets History

    The Denver Nuggets were originally formed in 1948 as part of the National Basketball League, which merged to form the NBA after the 1948-49 season. The Nuggets lasted one season in the NBA before folding. 

    Seven years later an American Basketball Association (ABA) team was moved to Denver, originally being named the Larks before being changed to the Rockets before the 1967-68 season, due to a change in ownership.

    The Denver Rockets had good success early on, making the playoffs in five of its first seven seasons in the ABA, however the team was never able to make it to the ABA Finals during this time. 

    The Rockets signed Denver Broncos player Lonnie Wright, becoming the first person to play both professional football and basketball in the same season! Denver also signed rookie Spencer Haywood, who wasn’t allowed in the NBA due to not graduating college. Haywood averaged 30 points and 20 rebounds per game, winning MVP, Rookie of the Year and All Star Game MVP in his only season with the team, before joining the NBA. 

    In the 1974 offseason, the team was anticipating its move to the NBA, which already had the Houston Rockets, so held a competition to rename the franchise, deciding to go back to the team’s original name, the Denver Nuggets. The newly named Nuggets made the playoffs in both of the last two ABA seasons, making the ABA finals in the final season, losing to the New York Nets. 

    Denver carried its success over to the NBA, winning the Midwest Division title in their first two seasons in the league and making the playoffs in their first three seasons. The following two seasons the Nuggets failed to make the playoffs and brought in new head coach, Doug Moe, who brought with him an offence-focused mindset. 

    The ‘motion’ offence allowed the Nuggets to be very competitive, despite not focusing on defence, and the team would go on to make the playoffs in the following nine seasons, including another two division titles. The team was led by Alex English, Kiki Vanderweghe and Dan Issel, with English and Vanderweghe averaging over 25 points per game. 

    The team traded Vanderweghe leading into the 1984-85 season, bringing in some more defensive minded players and it paid dividends, being the Nugget’s best season to that time. 

    Denver finished with a 52-30 record, good enough for second in the Western Conference, beating the San Antonio Spurs and the Utah Jazz on their way to their first Western Conference Finals, where they fell to the Los Angeles Lakers. 

    The Nugget’s other division title during this stretch came in the 1987-88 season, with the team finishing second in the West with a 54-28 record, allowing Doug Moe to be named Coach of the Year. It was another disappointing playoff exit for the Nuggets however, eliminated by the Mavericks in the second round. 

    Denver made the playoffs the following two seasons but were swept in the first round both years, with English and Moe leaving in the 1990 offseason. Their departure saw the team drop to a 20-62 record, the worst for the franchise at the time. 

    Denver wouldn’t make the playoffs for the first three seasons after their departure, but their poor performance allowed them to draft Dikembe Mutombo, a defensive minded center, who finished second in Rookie of the Year voting. 

    Mutombo and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf led the team to their first winning season and playoff run in four years, finishing the 1993-94 season with a 42-40 record. The 8-seed Nuggets came up against 1-seed Seattle Supersonics, led by Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton. 

    After dropping the first two games, Denver won the next two causing a series deciding game 5, which they won in overtime becoming the first 8-seed to beat a 1-seed in NBA history. Denver would unfortunately fall to a regular foe, the Utah Jazz, in the second round. 

    The Nuggets traded for Supersonics shooter Dale Ellis and drafted Jalen Rose, hoping to outperform their previous season, however they started the season poorly and went through three coaches during the 1994-95 season. Behind Mutombo, who was named Defensive Player of the Year, the Nuggets still managed to hold on to eighth spot in the West, but were swept by the Spurs in the first round. 

    Denver overhauled their roster over the next couple of years, trading their core players, including Mutombo, and focusing around Antonio McDyess, who they acquired in the 1995 offseason. However the team struggled, eventually trading McDyess after only two seasons, and continuing to plummet, finishing the 1997-98 season with an almost all time NBA worst record of 11-71. 

    Denver had another five losing seasons, capped off by a 17 win, 65 loss 2002-03 season, tied for worst in the league. This poor season allowed the Nuggets to get the third pick in the 2003 Draft and select Carmelo Anthony out of Syracuse. 

    Carmelo helped the Nuggets turn things around, becoming the first franchise to qualify for the playoffs following a sub-20 win season, despite falling to the Timberwolves in the first round.

    George Karl was hired during the 2004-05 season, helping the team win 32 of their last 40 games and make the playoffs for a second straight season, again losing in the first round, this time to the Spurs. 

    The 2005-06 season saw Denver win their first division title in 18 years, finishing with a 44-38 record, but was a similar story, exiting in the first round for the third straight year, this time at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers. 

    At the beginning of the 2006-07 season, Denver traded for superstar Allen Iverson from the Philadelphia 76ers, giving the Nuggets a powerful one-two offensive punch, with Anthony and Iverson both averaging over 30 points per game and being the two leading scorers in the league. 

    Marcus Camby was named Defensive Player of the Year and the team made the playoffs again, and won the first game against the Spurs, but chemistry issues played their part and the Nuggets lost the next four games, being eliminated in the first round for a fourth straight year. 

    The Nuggets went on to win 50 games in the 2007-08 season, but were only the eighth seed in the West, facing the 1-seed Lakers and being swept for their fifth straight first round exit. Denver knew they needed a change and traded both Camby and Iverson, bringing in Chauncey Billups from the Detroit Pistons. 

    Anthony and Billups led the Nuggets to another division title and the 2-seed in the West with a 54-28 record. Billups’ experience helped the Nuggets overcome their previous years downfalls, beating New Orleans 4-1 in the first round, and continued on with a 4-1 victory over the Mavericks, setting up a Western Conference Finals with the Lakers. 

    In the Nuggets’ first trip to the West Finals since 1985, where they also faced the Lakers, it was a case of deja vu, with Denver falling in six games to the Kobe Bryant led Lakers. The Nuggets would make the playoffs the following two seasons, including a division title in 2009-10, but were yet again, unable to make it out of the first round both years. 

    The biggest player move in Denver history saw a disgruntled Anthony traded to the New York Knicks on February 22nd, 2011. Both Anthony and Billups were traded in a three team trade that saw five new players join the team, including Danilo Gallinari and Timofey Mozgov. The Nuggets actually improved after the trade with a more team-orientated style of play and more focus on defence, with Denver finishing with 50 wins for the fourth straight season. 

    This new Denver team managed to make the playoffs for three straight seasons, including that initial half season, but were unable to get out of the first round on all three tries. However, they did have their best season in the 2012-13 season after trading for Andre Igoudala, finishing with a franchise best 57-25, including a 38-3 home record. George Karl was named Coach of the Year, but was fired after the season. 

    Denver struggled the following season, and for the next two seasons after that, but were successful in the draft, picking up Nikola Jokic at pick 41 in 2014, as well as trading for the 16th and 19th picks Jusuf Nurkic and Gary Harris. In 2016 the Nuggets selected Jamal Murray with the 7th pick. Nurkic was later traded for Mason Plumlee, who created a core of young guns with Jokic, Harris and Murray. 

    Denver’s young core continued to improve behind coach Mike Malone, finishing 9th in the West in both 2017 and 2018, before breaking into the playoffs in the 2018-19 season. Jokic had established himself as one of the best big men in the league, helping Denver finish with a 54-28 record, good enough for second in the West. The Nuggets beat the Spurs 4-3 in the opening round before falling to the Trail Blazers 4-3 in the second round. 

    Denver had emerged on to the stage and continued to blossom in the 2019-20 season, finishing third in the West with a 46-27 record, due to the COVID-19 shortened season. The Nuggets fell into a 3-1 hole against the Utah Jazz, but behind record breaking play of Jamal Murray, who scored 50 points twice in the series, managed to win the next three games, winning the series 4-3. 

    The Nuggets faced a similar story against the Clippers in the second round, down 3-1 and a sizeable margin in game five. The Nuggets made history by becoming the first team in NBA history to come back from 3-1 down twice in the same postseason.

    The Nuggets advanced to the Western Conference Finals where they were overpowered by the Lakers. Despite this, behind Murray and Jokic, the Nuggets are poised to be one of the top teams in the West for a considerable amount of time.

    Unfortunately for Denver, that had a rollercoaster of a 2020-21 season and it ended with them being swept in the Conference Semi-Finals by the Suns.

    Jokic dominated the entire season and was rewarded with his first MVP award, but unfortunately Denver lost Murray to a torn ACL towards the end of the regular season and they could never properly fill the hole that he left.

    Expert 2021-22 Picks & Preview on Denver Nuggets

    The Denver Nuggets fell short yet again in the playoffs after an injury riddled season. The key positive from last season was Nikola Jokic’s growth to become the MVP of the league. This season with their core back and healthy, the Nuggets will be trying to take another crack at making the NBA Finals after getting swept by the Suns in the Conference Semifinals. Will Jamal Murray be able to return to form after his injury, and is the Nuggets’ young core ready to make the leap and win the NBA Championship?

    Front Office

    The Nuggets have been led by head coach Mike Malone since 2015 and have been steadily improving ever since. The Nuggets have improved their winning percentage in essentially every season since Malone became coach. Although the team has somewhat stagnated in the last 3 seasons winning around 65% of their games, the team is definitely a contender with Malone as coach. 

    Under Malone, the Nuggets have cultivated and developed their home grown talent with Nikola Jokic becoming an MVP under Malone, and Jamal Murray playing at an All-Star level. Michael Porter Jr and Bol Bol are primed to develop and join this group of homegrown stars. Malone also has an emphasis on defense, taking the Nugget’s 25th ranked defense in 2015, and turning them into a top half defense which ranked 11th in defensive rating last season. 

    To help Malone push the Nuggets to the next level, the Nuggets haven’t been too busy this offseason. The biggest move they made was actually done during last season and this was acquiring Aaron Gordon. Now that Gordon has an offseason to learn the playbook and incorporate properly with the Nuggets young core, he will be a huge difference maker going into next season if he can spend time developing chemistry with Jokic. 

    Gordon will help the team’s defense and likely propel them into the top 10 as well. The addition of veteran presence Jeff Green should also help the team on the perimeter. With these 2 key additions and the continued development of their young core, the Nuggets should continue to get better.

    Key Players

    The most important player for the Nuggets is Nikola Jokic. Jokic was the league MVP and the most dangerous playmaking centre in the NBA. Last season, Jokic averaged 26.4 points per game, 10.8 rebounds and 8.3 assists. These are phenomenal numbers for a 27 year old just entering their prime. 

    This offseason, Jokic has been hard at work and looks like he is in great shape coming into the new season. Jokic has continually shown that no moment phases him, and has several signature game winners on his resume. Although Jokic likely doesn’t have too much room to grow as he is already a bonafide superstar, marginal improvements will definitely help take the load of the Nuggets’ second most important player, Jamal Murray.

    Jamal Murray is the man to watch on the Nuggets. After exploding in the NBA Bubble, Murray has played good but not great before tearing his ACL. If he can’t return to form by the time the playoffs come around, the Nuggets could be in trouble as they lack his level of talent at the guard position. 

    Although the team has Will Barton and Austin Rivers to carry the load, neither compares to Murray’s clutch play. This is why we think that Michael Porter Jr is so important. Porter Jr. literally shoots every time he touches the ball and has grown into a great scoring threat for the Nuggets. After Murray got injured last season, Porter Jr. averaged 23.2 points while shooting 55% from the field and 44% from 3. 

    These numbers should go up as Porter Jr. both grows into the KD-like scorer everyone thinks he will become and as he replaces Murray as Jokic’s go-to scorer. The Nuggets need Porter Jr. to make the most of the time he has as the number 2 option before Murray returns. If they can get a healthy Murray back, an improved Porter Jr. and MVP level Jokic firing on all cylinders, the Nuggets might be unbeatable offensively.

    Breakout Players

    The breakout player on the Nuggets will be Bol Bol. Bol has shown insane potential and has an insane high ceiling both offensively and defensively. Offensively Bol is a talented shooter who shot 37.5% from deep while possessing a tight handle despite being 7’2. If Bol can learn to play better off the ball alongside Jokic, Bol will get more consistent playing time. Defensively Bol is a block machine and has shown he can be somewhat of a defensive anchor. 

    Bol will have to fight hard for an opportunity though as he still isn’t polished yet. If Bol can make the most of his minutes and show chemistry with Jokic and the starting 5, he could carve out a larger role and break out. He has to fight it out though as there are several talented veterans ahead of him on the depth chart. We think Bol is ready for the competition and will shock everyone, providing another scoring option beside Jokic, who can help with Jokic’s defensive weaknesses.

    Denver Nuggets Betting & Odds Preview 2021-22

    Following the spectacular postseason efforts in 2019-20, the Nuggets 2020-21 NBA Championship odds opened at +2000, ninth best in the league.

    The incredible play of Nikola Jokic saw Denver come into as good as fifth favorite for the title but Jamal Murray’s torn ACL saw the Nuggets’ odds plummet.

    After making the Western Conference Finals in 2020, there was greater expectations surrounding the team and it saw a dip in performance against the spread. Denver finished just 34-38 ATS, being 16-20 at home and an even 18-18 on the road.

    When looking at total points betting, Denver was one of the best teams all season, being ranked first for O/U betting for most of the season. They finished seventh in the league with a 39-32-1 O/U record, being an even 18-18 on the road but thriving offensively at home to finish 21-14-1.

    Denver Nuggets FAQs

    Still got some burning questions about the Denver Nuggets? Well, we have answered some of the most common questions people have, hopefully you will find the answer you are looking for below! 

    Where do the Denver Nuggets play?

    The Denver Nuggets play their home games at the Ball Arena. 

    Who owns the Denver Nuggets?

    Ann Walton Kroenke is the owner of the Denver Nuggets. 

    Have the Denver Nuggets won an NBA Championship?

    The Denver Nuggets have won 0 NBA championships. 

    Who is the Denver Nuggets coach?

    Michael Malone is the head coach of the Denver Nuggets. Malone was hired following the 2014-15 season, after being head coach of the Sacramento Kings.

    Do the Denver Nuggets play tonight?

    Are you wondering if the Denver Nuggets are playing tonight? Well, SportsTips has all the details you need about upcoming Denver Nuggets games! Make sure you check this page at the top for all the details you are looking for.

    What is the Denver Nuggets record?

    The Denver Nuggets had a 47-25 win-loss record for the 2020-21 NBA season. 

    Did the Denver Nuggets win last night?

    Fans of the Denver Nuggets are all wanting to know if they won the game last night. You can find more information in relation to the team’s recent form in games on the page at the top.

    How much are the Denver Nuggets worth?

    According to Forbes Magazine, the Denver Nuggets are worth $1.6 billion.

    Who do the Denver Nuggets play tonight?

    Like a lot of things in the NBA, things change pretty quickly. So, if you are looking for more information about who the Denver Nuggets play tonight, you have come to the right place. We have all this information for you in detail, you can find these details for upcoming games at the top of the page.

    How to watch the Denver Nuggets?

    You can watch the Denver Nuggets on TV channels like ESPN, ABC, TNT, NBA TV or Altitude Sports, or subscribe to NBA League Pass. 

    Will the Denver Nuggets make the playoffs this year?

    The Denver Nuggets made the playoffs in the 2020-21 season. They finished the regular season in 3rd place in the Western Conference with a 47-25 record. 

    Will the Denver Nuggets get the 1st pick in the NBA Draft?

    The Denver Nuggets received the 26th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft and this is their only pick for this year. 

    When do the Denver Nuggets play?

    Denver Nuggets fans are always looking for more information about when their team plays the next game. For all the information you have been craving and more, be sure to check the top of this page. Here at SportsTips we list all the information you need like the tip off time, location of the game and the all important NBA odds.

    Where did the Denver Nuggets finish the season?

    The Denver Nuggets finished the 2020-21 NBA season in 3rd in the Western Conference. 

    How many games did the Denver Nuggets win?

    The Denver Nuggets won 47 games during the 2020-21 NBA season.

    What are the NBA expert picks for the Denver Nuggets?

    The NBA expert picks for the Denver Nuggets in the 2021 / 2022 season is yet to be determined, but make sure you check our page regularly as we crunch all the numbers and stats to get awesome expert NBA picks for our readers.